Campaign leans into city’s quirks, charm

The humble brag lies behind Dunedin’s latest destination marketing campaign, mixing cinematic imagery with a laconic shrug.

"It’s just Dunedin" is the tagline and the content shifts between impressive landscapes and down-to-earth charm.

Surfing at sunrise at St Clair Beach is just one of Dunedin’s delights. A new marketing campaign...
Surfing at sunrise at St Clair Beach is just one of Dunedin’s delights. A new marketing campaign presents compelling imagery with some laid-back vernacular. PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY
The campaign’s aim is to encourage people to consider visiting Dunedin by challenging what they think they know about the city.

As a media release for the Dunedin City Council put it, the campaign "juxtaposes the beauty and grandness of Dunedin’s offerings alongside the wry humour the Dunedin brand is known for".

"We want to lean into the quirk that is Dunedin," council communications and city marketing manager Leanne Mash said.

The predominantly digital campaign started this morning on with a release of content that mostly comprises a series of short videos.

Content will be presented in stages through the next 12 months.

Invariably the clips start with a striking vista or familiar image and the phrasing "Here in Ōtepoti Dunedin", but they finish with a twist.

Enterprise Dunedin manager John Christie said it was the most substantial campaign since "A pretty good Plan D", which ran amid the disruption of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"We are aware of some of the long-held perceptions of Dunedin and, with visitor markets still recovering, now is the opportune time to reposition the city in the minds of would-be visitors," he said.

"Just Dunedin" meant authentic and unique, he said.

The campaign, costing about $150,000 a year for up to three years, is mainly aimed at the New Zealand market, including potential students, and it is hoped people will share the videos through social media.

It brings together built heritage, wildlife, the coastline, retail and food and beverage.

Ms Mash said the film crew one day was lucky to have a sea lion turn up for the shoot.

The campaign is to run over an unusually long period and its effectiveness will be studied as it goes.

A survey about perceptions will be carried out each month.